- Four senior executives from Walmart will join recent acquisition Flipkart Group, the leading domestic e-commerce marketplace in India, according to the Economic Times. Flipkart is in heated competition with Amazon for online retail market share. The changes were announced in an email to employees from Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal, the Economic Times reported.
- Emily McNeal will move from head of mergers and acquisitions at Walmart to SVP and group CFO at Flipkart. McNeal had been involved in the acquisition negotiations alongside Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. Daniel De La Garza, currently chief ethics and compliance officer for Walmart in Central America, will take the same position with Flipkart. Grant Coad, who has been in charge of regulatory compliance for Walmart Canada, will be general counsel at Flipkart. Dawn Ptak, after seven years with Walmart China, will be Flipkart's VP and group controller.
- The four executives will reportedly transfer to Flipkart by October. McNeal, Garza and Coad will report to Bansal. Ptak will report to McNeal. The executives will focus on group strategy, mergers and acquisitions, IPO preparation, accounting and controls, and U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, according to the Economic Times. "Each of these leaders currently lead crucial charters at Walmart and will bring a wealth of experience to the Flipkart Group," wrote Bansal in an email quoted by the Economic Times. "Their expertise will be immensely valuable in giving a major boost to our efforts to take Flipkart to the next level of growth and compliance – a journey we have already embarked upon."
Walmart is putting its stamp on Flipkart, and with the executives it is transferring to the newly acquired e-commerce company in India, it could be setting up for more mergers and acquisitions in that region given the focus the group is reported to have. The $16 billion deal for a 77% stake in Flipkart was announced in early May after a bidding war with Amazon. The deal closed and received regulatory approval in August, according to an announcement from Walmart.
Walmart recently sold majority control of Asda to Sainsbury's and it is also divesting its majority stake in Walmart Brazil, a move interpreted by some analysts to be clearing the decks for the retailer to focus on Flipkart.
Prior to its acquisition Flipkart had also shown signs that it was interested in regional expansion. Earlier this year, Flipkart reportedly made a $1 billion offer to acquire Snapdeal, one of its e-commerce rivals, but the deal eventually collapsed. Both companies were owned by Japan's Softbank, which sold its interest in Flipkart as part of the Walmart acquisition.
India is the top developing country for retail investment, on the strength of a growing economy and middle class and a favorable regulatory environment, according to last year's A.T. Kearney's Global Retail Development Index. It even outpaces China. In India, Walmart operates 21 Best Price cash-and-carry stores and one fulfillment center in nine cities, the company said in a press release. Krish Iyer will continue as president and CEO of Walmart India.